Auto accidents are caused by a wide array of circumstances. More commonly, the accidents are caused by moving violations and DUIs. Statistics show that these accidents are more likely to produce a fatality, and often the at-fault driver doesn’t have auto insurance even though it is required by law. Several complications could arise for accident victims, including delays in receiving compensation for their medical expenses and auto repair costs.
Auto accident victims can file a lawsuit to collect these losses if the at-fault driver doesn’t have auto insurance. If the victim dies because of their auto accident injuries, their family can start a wrongful death lawsuit to collect compensation.
The Importance of Reporting the Accident
After any auto accident, victims must report the incident by contacting emergency services or the highway patrol. If they don’t, there will not be an official record of the accident, and an unreported accident will not help the victims if they need to start a legal claim. Law enforcement creates an accident report even if some parties leave the scene of the accident. The information is vital to an auto accident claim, and the report will list all parties involved. Victims of a car accident contact an attorney to get started with their legal claim.
Is an Insurance Claim Possible?
All drivers must maintain at least auto liability coverage. They must have $25,000 for each individual injured in an accident with a maximum coverage limit of $50,000. The policy must offer at least $25,000 for property damage. Anyone who doesn’t have auto coverage faces a revocation of their auto registration and possibly a license suspension.
If they cause an accident, they are liable for medical expenses and auto repair costs incurred by the victim, and the victim can start a lawsuit. Since they do not have insurance, an insurance claim isn’t possible. However, those with insurance should file a claim through their insurer to pay these expenses. If the medical costs exceed the maximum for their policy, the victim could file a claim to collect the additional expenses. However, the victim must have serious injuries.
The Victim Should Get Medical Care
The first item the claimant needs is evidence of their injuries. When seeking medical care, the victim creates medical records that are used in their auto accident claim. The records describe all the injuries the victim sustained during the accident, and their doctor can explain how these injuries affect their lives. If they developed a permanent disability, the victim could receive a more substantial monetary award from the at-fault driver. The court orders a lump sum award or allows the at-fault driver to pay installments.
Three Estimates for Auto Repair Expenses
Auto repair expenses are explained by up to three different estimates. The victim will need to visit at least three auto body repair services to get an estimate for their repairs. The estimates are included in their claim just like they would be for an insurance claim. The court reviews the information on the estimates to determine the monetary award for property damage.
Did the Victim Lose Wages?
Lost wages are another consideration when it comes to starting an auto accident claim. Many victims lose wages because they cannot go back to work immediately after their accident. The total number of days they were absent from work reflects how much earnings they lost because of the accident. When calculating economic losses caused by the accident, the court will want to know if the victim lost wages or even their job because of the accident.
How Does Comparative Fault Affect the Claim?
Comparative fault rulings indicate that the victim played a role in causing the accident, too. They may be guilty of a moving violation that contributed to the accident. In court, the defense must prove that the victim was guilty and played a role in causing the accident.
When proven, the court assigns a percentage to the moving violation and deducts the percentage from the monetary award. If the victim is more than 50% to blame for the accident, the court dismisses the case. The defendant could file a countersuit if they are less than 50% at fault and also sustained injuries in the accident.
When the At-Fault Driver Broke the Law
At-fault drivers face charges if they are guilty of a DUI. After an auto accident, law enforcement conducts breathalyzer tests for any drivers they suspect of driving under the influence. If the at-fault driver has a blood-alcohol reading of at least 0.08, they are arrested for DUI.
Drunk drivers who cause accidents with injuries could face additional criminal charges. If they have a higher-than-average blood alcohol content reading, they are charged with aggravated DUI. They could face penalties in criminal and civil court because of their choice to drive while intoxicated.
Questions of Intent
When an accident wasn’t an accident, criminal laws are introduced. The investigation of the scene determines if the auto accident was in fact an accident. Criminals that deliberately cause an auto accident to cause bodily harm will face criminal charges. When reviewing the accident, the officers will question everyone involved. If there was a related altercation, there is a possibility of attempted vehicular homicide if the victim doesn’t die from their injuries.
When A Victim Dies
A wrongful death lawsuit is filed by the family of the victim to collect economic damages caused by the fatality. This includes medical costs, funeral expenses, and a loss of financial support for children.
Auto accident laws present a legal avenue for a lawsuit if a victim sustained injuries in an accident that wasn’t their fault. The insurance laws are in place to decrease the need to file a lawsuit to collect the economic losses. However, some drivers continue to drive without adequate auto insurance. When they cause an accident, the victim starts a legal claim to recover their economic losses. However, the victim must prove that they didn’t play a role in causing the accident and their injuries were caused by the accident. A civil lawsuit helps them collect damages if they have a viable claim.
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